Do the Bruins have the pieces to land a big name at the trade deadline?
The Bruins have a unique opportunity in front of them.
The National Hockey League’s leader in points coming out of the All-Star break, general manager Don Sweeney has the opportunity in front of him to add to the roster.
The Bruins have been linked to all the names on the market: Bo Horvat, Timo Meier, Jakob Chychrun, Ryan O'Reilly and more.
Of course, Horvat is off the table after his trade to the New York Islanders.
Things became more interesting Saturday night when the Arizona Coyotes made Chychrun a healthy scratch, expecting to deal the talented defenseman sooner, rather than later.
While the Bruins certainly can use upgrades in a few areas, adding a top-four defenseman to the mix would certainly be a big boost to a Bruins team that allows 2.12 goals per game, fewest in the NHL.
While some reports have different teams in and out of the mix, the Bruins, Kings and Maple Leafs are believed to have the most interest in the Coyotes blueliner, the Kings in the driver’s seat.
Whether it’s the Bruins, or anyone else, the price tag on Chychrun will be an expensive one.
The Bruins still have their 2023 1st round pick and although it’s come back to bite him more often than not, Sweeney has shown in the past that in the right move, he’s not afraid to deal it.
But even if the Bruins production in the second half dips, the Bruins will remain among the Stanley Cup favorites, making their first round pick a late one and therefore, less attractive.
There’s certainly a lot of excitement around Bruins’ prospects Fabian Lysell and Mason Loheri, but it’s hard to find a scenario where the Bruins land an impactful player and are able to keep one of Lysell or Loheri.
Outside of those two youngsters, the Bruins don’t have many prospects that would move the needle enough to give the Bruins a winning bid in an attempt to land a player that has interest from multiple teams.
That’s where Sweeney and the rest of the Bruins management staff need to deeply weigh the pros and cons of an “all-in” approach.
Should the Bruins swing and miss on Chychrun, there’s players like Vancouver’s Luke Schenn that the Bruins could turn their attention to on the backend. The 32-year old would be an instant upgrade over Connor Clifton on the Bruins bottom pairing.
As potent as the Bruins offensive depth has been, and the boost of a returning Jake DeBrusk at some point next week, you can never have enough offensive firepower and it’s certainly an area where Sweeney needs to explore.
Similar to their trade with the Anaheim Ducks last season that landed them Hampus Lindholm, the Bruins will likely need to move salary in order to make a splash at the trade deadline.
Craig Smith and Mike Rielly are two names the Bruins would like to clear off their books.
The NHL’s trade deadline is set for March 3. The trade of Horvat was the first domino to fall and it appears Chychrun is next.
Dominos can be a fun game, Sweeney and the Bruins should give it a whirl.